Khadija loves the ancient tales of jinn and renegade princesses... but real life is closing in and her destiny as a ghadæan girl is marriage and boredom. When her father arranges a match, Khadija leaps at the chance of escape - a rogue hot air balloon fighting its ropes for the sky. Soon, Khadija is flying over the desert sands, away from everything she knows. Khadija finds an unlikely ally in a poor young glassmaker's apprentice, Jacob.
But soon, a deadly revolution threatens their friendship and their world. The oppressed, pale-skinned hāri are restless - their infamous terrorist group, the Hāreef, have a new, fearsome leader. And the ruling ghadæans are brutal in their repression. As the Hāreef exploit forbidden magic - summoning jinn to aid their fight - Jacob and Khadija must choose what kind of a world they want to live in and how to make it a reality.